Why Source Local Food?
Support the local economy. The purchasing power of businesses has the potential to greatly strengthen other local businesses, such as farms, value-added processors, and small-scale distributors. These jobs allow for a resilient, attractive community that loops back to strengthen the economy as a whole.
Market your business. Many customers are seeking out local food and choose restaurants and retail options that let them purchase local foods. Customers wanting to dine local will browse the Adirondack Harvest website and find their best local food options. Many other great options for featuring and highlighting local food on your menu is shown to draw people in.
Source the best tasting food available. With all the love and creativity that goes into serving meals or stocking food for hungry folks, start with the freshest, tastiest, and most unique, seasonal ingredients available! The Adirondacks are home to a diverse array of producers, so you can make your menu as delicious and diverse as you wish to imagine.
Decide your business’ message to your customers. The list goes on. Sourcing local reduces food miles traveled and the carbon footprint of food, plus, many local farms in the Adirondacks are dedicated to environmentally sustainable practices. The human and animal rights problems associated with industrial agriculture are alleviated when you source local. Food access— you can give more people access to the right for local, delicious food. Food waste— by purchasing local, food arrives to you quickly, often within the day it is picked or prepared, and thus the food waste associated with days of transportation and storage is eliminated. We all have our reasons for choosing the food we do. What does your business wish to say, through the power of purchasing dollars and to customers, about these issues?
How to Source Local Food for your Business or Institution
Browse the Adirondack Harvest Wholesale Database
You can search for producers by products they offer through wholesale, where they deliver, and the scale they cater to below. Perusing your options can help you find new types of products to create exciting new menu ideas! Visit the wholesale database here.
Utilize the Hub on the Hill Online Wholesale Store
The Hub on the Hill has recently launched a new online ordering system and delivery service that allows wholesale purchasers to order a variety of locally grown products online from one place. Visit their online wholesale store here.
Learn About Certifications
There are many regulated and unregulated labeling terms that you will come across when shopping for food. By better understanding terms like “natural” “organic” and “free-range” will help you better find food that aligns with your business or institution’s goals and values. See our Decoding Food Labels Guide here.
Meeting Food Safety Requirements
As a school, hospital, or college you may have certain certifications or food safety requirements that you look for when purchasing food for your meal programs. Many area farms have the necessary certifications, as well as food safety plans and can provide you with the necessary documentation. When asking farms for quotes, simply ask about their food safety plan.
Visit your local farmers’ market
Meet several growers, pick exactly what you want, and try new foods— all close to your business. Find a farmers’ market here.
Become an Adirondack Harvest member
When growers call and ask how to market their products, one tip we give them is to look at the Adirondack Harvest website for restaurants and retail businesses near them that source local food. Find more info on membership here.
Need more support? We are here to help you navigate any challenges or questions you have regarding local food purchasing. Businesses can email Carly Summers at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment. Institutions and schools can email Meghan Dohman at email@example.com.